Mysore Pak : Though the name suggests the place of origin of this sweet as Mysore, it is common in every part of Tamil Nadu.  The very name brings to our mind the sweet dripping with ghee and laden with sugar. Earlier this Sweet was prepared at homes for all festivals and weddings. Originally it was prepared in such a way it was a bit hard and porous.  These days’ people prefer the “melt in the mouth” version of this Sweet which is famous in Coimbatore  and the recipe is given below. Though it is quite easy to make, the trick lies in getting the right consistency of the sugar syrup.
Mysore Pak
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
No of pieces: 10


1.      Bengal gram flour (besan or kadalai mavu) : ½ Cup (  60 grams)
2.      Refined Sugar : 1 Cup ( 200 grams )
3.      Ghee (clarified butter) : ½ Cup ( 100 ml)
4.      Oil ( Sun flower oil or any refined oil ) : ½ Cup ( 100 ml)
5.      Soda bi-carb (cooking soda) : a pinch
6.      Water : ¼ Cup


Grease a plate well with a teaspoon of ghee. Sieve the gram flour with a teaspoon of hot ghee fry the flour lightly in a skillet over low flame for a couple of minutes.  Again sieve the flour and remove hard lumps. In a thick bottomed vessel add the sugar with water and keep it over medium flame and stir it well to get the one thread consistency.
Heat another skillet with ghee and oil over low flame to keep it hot in another burner or stove.  When the sugar syrup comes to the one thread consistency (Please see laddu recipe for making this one thread consistency), start adding the flour slowly with a ladle in one hand and with the other hand stirring the sugar syrup- flour mixture continuously.  After this, add the ghee to the mixture slowly like you did with the gram flour. When the ghee is completely added, keep stirring it for another 10 to 15 minutes carefully. The whole ghee is absorbed and then the mixture comes out frothy and leaves the sides of the vessel and immediately add the soda bicarb and pour the mixture fast in to the greased plate. Wait for a couple of minutes to cool and start cutting the pieces to shapes of your choice.
Tips:  Shelf life for this sweet is longer and it can be kept fresh for a couple of weeks easily
at room temperature.
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Semiya Payasam (Seviyan Kheer)

Payasam is usually the last item served in a traditional South Indian meal, as dessert.  Many varieties of payasams are made using different ingredients like broken wheat, rice (basmati) sago, and pulses like green gram dhal etc. This recipe uses vermicelli (semiya) as the main ingredient. Vermicelli in India is made from semolina and is known as seviyan in Hindi and as semiya in Tamil.Semiya payasam is also known as kheer in North India.

Semiya Payasam (Seviyan Kheer) 1

Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3


Milk: 500 ml
Refined sugar: 100 grams or ½ cup
Vermicelli (Semiya):1 cup or 40 grams
Cashew nuts: 10
Raisins: 10
Cardamom: 2
Ghee (clarified butter) 1teaspoon
Grated coconut: 2 tablespoon

Semiya Payasam (Seviyan Kheer) 2

Method: Adding one teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) roast the cashew and raisin and set aside. If vermicelli is not roasted, you will have to roast it lightly in the remaining ghee. Allow the milk to boil on high heat in a thick bottomed vessel. When it starts to boil, stir it for 5 minutes. Reducing the heat to medium add the roasted vermicelli and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cardamom powder, grated coconut and cook for a couple of minutes. Garnish with raisins and cashew nut and serve hot.


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Adhirasam (Athirasam)

Adhirasam or Athirasam is a typical, traditional Tamilnadu sweet item that is usually made during festivals. Jaggery is a main ingredient used here, instead of cane sugar. Adhirasam is popular mainly in the Southern districts of Tamilnadu and also in the Chettinad area.


Cooking Time: 2 hours (over 2 days).

No of pieces: 20


  1. Raw rice: 500 grams (3 cups)
    2. Powdered Jaggery (unrefined sugar): 400 grams ( 3 cups)
    3. Cardamom: 8
    4. Water (for making syrup):  3/4 cup
    5. Ghee (Clarified butter): 75 grams
    6. Oil (preferably sunflower): 750 ml


Soak raw rice in water for an hour. Drain water and using a blender, make into smooth fine flour. You will get nearly 6 cups of rice flour. Powder the cardamom and add to the flour. For 2 cups raw rice flour use one cup powdered jaggery to make syrup.

Take 3/4  cup water in a pan, add the jaggery and simmer over medium heat till it becomes syrup. Strain the syrup to remove large particles and let simmer again over low heat.  You must get the syrup flavor and a “one thread” consistency. Pour a drop or two in a cup of water. If the syrup settles down into a ball at the bottom of the cup of water without disintegrating, you have reached the desired consistency. Remove from stove and add the wet rice flour with the ghee. Mix the flour and  the syrup well and set aside for 1 – 3 days, covering the mouth of the container with a thin cloth.

Heat oil in a deep-fry pan over medium flame. Apply some oil on a strip of banana leaf.  Make balls of the mixture from the previous step and press them into round adhirasams on the leaf and gently drop them into the hot oil. Use a “poondhi” (boondhi) ladle to remove the adhirasam when they are fried to a deep golden brown. To remove excess oil use a thick flat ladle to press down the athirasam and squeeze the oil out.

Adhirasam (Athirasam) 2

Tips: Adhirasams can be stored for up to a month in airtight containers. The rice flour should not become dry when it is added to the jaggery syrup. You will get about 20 adhirasams for half kg rice.

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Paniyaram – Pan Cakes

Paniyaram is a quick-to-make snack eaten during tea time and at special occasions. It is easy to make in a few minutes when unexpected guests or hungry kids need to be served.

Paniyaram (Pan Cakes)

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.

Servings :  2


  • Refined wheat flour (Maida)  – 1 cup or 100grams
  • Egg  – 1
  • Refined sugar  – 50 grams
  • Banana (ripe)  – 1
  • Soda bi-carb (cooking soda)  – A pinch
  • Oil  –  In a pan for deep frying.


Sift the flour and cooking soda in a sieve. Beat the egg with sugar till sugar dissolves. Mix the flour and egg-sugar mixture with the mashed banana, adding enough water to make a thick batter. Heat the oil in a deep fryer. Take a spoonful of this batter and drop gently into the hot oil.  5,6 pieces can be fried together. Cook till they are fluffy and evenly cooked to a golden brown color. Drain the excess oil and serve.

Tip: Use medium heat for frying as the inside of the paniyarams should be cooked thoroughly.

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Carrot Halwa – Halva

Carrot Halwa or Halva is a type of sweet preparation that is found across cultures from India to the Middle East and North Africa. It is often compared to the puddings of Europe. Different regions have their own unique ingredients and way of preparing it. In India, carrots are used commonly to make carrot halwa (gajer ka halwa). This dessert item is very easy to make.
Carrot Halwa

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Servings              : 2


250  grams                        – Carrot (Orange color)
225  grams                        – Refined Sugar
500  ml                              – Milk
3                                          – Cardamom
Ghee (Clarified butter)   – 3 teaspoon


Grate carrot finely. Take a thick bottomed vessel or non stick pan and boil milk on high flame. When it starts to boil, add the grated carrot. When the milk is reduced to just a half a cup, add the sugar, powdered cardamom and ghee into the vessel. Now you have to lower the flame and keep stirring continuously till you get a sticky ball consistency.

Carrot Halwa
Carrot Halwa
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